Bolsonaro year 1: Politics

Bolsonaro politics Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR
Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR

Brazil is home to the world’s most-fragmented legislature, forcing presidents to reach deals with ideologically opposed parties in order to form broad coalitions. These coalitions are often based on horse-trading, and no administration has gone by without facing corruption scandals. During the campaign, Jair Bolsonaro promised to break with “old politics,” also known in Brazil as “coalition presidentialism.”

He has been largely true to his words, ignoring efforts to seek a ruling coalition, instead choosing to reach deals for specific bills, as was the case with the pension reform. That approach has made it more difficult for the...

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